Lightning Review: Gunnar Optiks Eye Strain-Reducing Computer Glasses

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The Gadget: A pair of yellow-tinted glasses you wear at the computer that claim to reduce "Digital Eye Fatigue" and "Computer Vision Syndrome." In other words, they get rid of eye strain and headaches related to eye strain. It also claims to give you "sharper, clearer vision," as well as improve your performance because "the eyes are relaxed." How? By "improving eye focus, reducing glare and blocking artificial light." The Price: The price is variable, but a random sampling of different frame types cost anywhere between $99 at the low end and nearly $200 at the high end. The bulk of the frames, however, land somewhere in between. Ours, the Wi-Five, cost $139.

The Verdict: It actually works. The curvature and wrapping of the lenses around your eyes cause some slight distortion when you're turning your head or using your peripheral vision (a.k.a. early boss, wife or mom warning system), which takes a short while to get used to. Our first try was met with slight nausea within a few minutes. We persevered, despite everything looking (and maybe even smelling and tasting) a urine-yellow. We don't normally experience eye-strain when at the computer, so when we wore the Gunnars for a solid day of blogging—from start to finish—we didn't experience any clearer vision or performance gain that we could tell. But that's like trying to sell someone a whistle that prevents tiger attacks and claiming it works when there haven't been any tiger attacks. In NYC. Downtown. At Bloomingdale's. However, when we donned the specs after we already had pain in one or more of our eyeballs and/or a headache, we found that the Gunnars really did work to take away the discomfort. We didn't put them on and lie down either; we sat in front of our five-display setup and did full-on blogging. We're not sure how it works, or if it will work for everybody, but if you're a frequent sufferer of computer-related eye strain, $100+ is a small price to pay for something that at the very least helps you work for a few more hours without sticking a fruit knife in your temple. The downside is that you look may look like a dork when wearing them depending on which pair you choose, but I look like a dork all the time, so I DON'T CARE. [Gunnar Optiks]